Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE
After the disappointments about the missing pieces of the 2013 class, the future will ultimately define them.
The evaluation of a class on Signing Day may perhaps be the less significant evaluation of the group that will occur -- it's only success on the field that eventually defines how a class is viewed.
It may have just been a way for Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown to minimize the concerns that many have about the small group, but that was his take:
It just shows you that today is not as important as what happens after today.
The 2005 class was quite small at 15 prospects, but 10 of them ended up as All-Big 12 players and seven of them played in the NFL. Whatever the feelings were on Signing Day in 2005 -- about the Longhorns failing to build on the Rose Bowl season.
The 2010 class was hailed as perhaps the best in the history of the Mack Brown era, but there are eight players in the class who are no longer in the program and never contributed -- a full third of the class three years past that Signing Day.
We've learned that over the last few years when we had classes ranked in the top-five and some of them didn't pan out. Our job as coaches is to take the 15 we've got - and a high percentage of them end up playing at the University of Texas.
The 2009 class stands as a shining example of what Brown was talking about. Of that group of 21, only seven completed their eligibility at Texas, marking a full two-thirds of the class as attrition.
What will ultimately be more important than the players that Texas missed on is the job of development that the program does with them, as Brown mentioned. The verdict is still out on most of the new hires from 2010, with the exception of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who has been nearly universally panned in Texas circles for his efforts in the 2012 season.
For coaches like Stacy Searels, Bo Davis, and Darrell Wyatt, their work with this class and further developing the last two classes will write the story of their tenure in Austin.
Of course, it may take more time to gain perspective on this class. After all, the Longhorns played an incredible number of true freshmen over the last two years -- 34 of 48 total played during their first season on campus and now 20 of them, roughly 40%, now have starting experience.
As a result, there aren't going to many impact players from this group. It does possess a number of prospects who have the ability to make their mark at Texas and though the 2005 class sets a standard the 2013 group is unlikely to reach, one of the greatest determining factors for the 2013 kids will be their ability to complete their eligibility.
'Horns fans just have to hope that the group looks a lot more like 2005 than 2009 when all is said and done.